A Virgin Islands delegation (right) led by Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley met with London financial services stakeholders (left) last week during an official visit to the United Kingdom. (Photo: PROVIDED)

Public company registers, sanctions and ongoing legislative reforms in the Virgin Islands were among the topics discussed when Premier Dr. Natalio “Sowande” Wheatley hosted a financial services roundtable during his visit to London last week, according to BVI Finance.

More than two dozen practitioners attended the event to meet with a VI panel that also included a host of other senior officials: Kenneth Baker, BVI Financial Services Commission managing director and CEO; Cherno Jallow, FSC director of policy research and statistics; La Toya James, director of the International Tax Authority; and BVI Finance CEO Elise Donovan.
VI Financial Secretary Jeremiah Frett moderated.

The panel’s discussion agenda included the territory’s new Virtual Assets Service Providers Act, tax and financial periods, economic substance requirements, and the VI’s ongoing preparations for the International Monetary Fund assessors scheduled to arrive here in March, according to BVI Finance.

“Looking to the regulatory landscape, 2023 promises to be a particularly important year for the reputation of our jurisdiction as we look to strengthen the BVI’s continued commitment to international standards,” the premier said, adding, “The legislative reforms are part of the BVI’s continual assessment of the financial services regime to better respond to changing global dynamics and the needs and suggestions of players within the BVI financial services industry, and to comply with international standards, particularly in the fight against financial crime.”

Marketing plans

The premier also said the government is moving forward with marketing plans designed to showcase the territory’s financial services offerings by focusing on core markets and opportunities for growth, according to BVI Finance.

“At the same time, we will continue to educate and inform our stakeholders on the role the BVI plays in the global economy [and] on that note, I am excited to let you know that we will be launching our much-anticipated new report entitled, ‘Beyond globalisation: The British Virgin Islands contribution to global prosperity in an uncertain world,’” he said. “This report is our latest piece of evidence-based research that will continue to explain and educate key audiences on the positive role that the BVI plays.”

The report, which was launched here in November but not released in full, was commissioned by BVI Finance as part of its ongoing efforts to market the territory’s financial industry. It was carried out by the United Kingdom-based consulting firm Pragmatix Advisory, which also produced the recent BVI360 “fact-based content series” for BVI Finance. The roundtable discussion in London was one of several meetings the premier and his delegation attended during an official visit to the UK last week.